“The Person Politics Needs More of:” Interview with Jordan Pellerito

Note: This is a part of a series of interviews where different men and women share their stories on how they became politically informed. All of these people I know in some form or another. I can’t stress how beneficial it would be for you to follow and get to know them. So, do it ASAP.

Jordan interview

“I love when Republicans and Libertarians follow me.”

That’s a common statement from Jordan Pellerito, a left leaning college girl who actively engages with differing political views on Twitter.

Unlike the vast majority of political active people on Twitter, she’s friendly, respectful, and welcoming.

There’s something to be said of young people who are into politics and realize that people hold different views.

Recognizing that those who hold differing opinions from you aren’t automatically inferior. They hold to their beliefs for a reason. They aren’t mentally challenged, ignorant, or mischievous power hungry villains.

It’s important to treat whoever disagrees with you with respect and friendliness.

[bctt tweet=”It’s important to treat whoever disagrees with you with respect and friendliness.” via=”no”]

No, liberals don’t want to ruin America. The left isn’t out to weaken America. They love America just like any conservative.

No, libertarians don’t want to reduce civilization to a bunch of selfish people. They want communities to flourish. They want to help people too, just like any other liberal or conservative.

The key to gaining credibility and widespread respect is to in fact respect other political views. Heck, you’d be surprised how much communists are like you and me.

I’m serious, they’re actually not that insane.

I mean, they have a completely different view of how economics works, but that’s what makes their beliefs different.

You’ve got to recognize this fact. And most importantly, you need to live with it in mind.

People like Jordan have realized this fact and are living accordingly.

It’s awesome to see, and I hope more Americans start doing it.

Now, onto Jordan’s interview…

Interview with Jordan Pellerito

Who are you? And what are you known for?

I’m Jordan. I’m known as “the person politics needs more of.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that after talking politics with someone. I guess it’s because I believe discussing politics calmly and being friendly with those who differ from me isn’t a bad thing.

How old were you when got into politics?

Actually into politics? Eighteen. How old was I when I took an interest in politics? Probably seventh grade, so thirteen I’d say. That was the Obama/McCain election and I was the only “Democrat” in my Catholic school class of thirty students.

What attracted you to politics?

The power and influence to create change. Another thing is President Kennedy. I took a Contemporary History class in high school and the teacher was open to any topic, so we spent a majority of the semester on JFK’s assassination.

I think like many people, my class was so interested in why he was killed and didn’t necessarily believe the Warren Report; we wanted something more, and we wanted a reason why he was killed. Like I said, we spent a lot of time on it and even got into his policies and the politics of his administration.

That was the first time I’d seen young people take an interest in policy. It was typical conspiracy stuff, but it still intrigued my class enough to learn more about his legislation and policy. Kennedy himself was a young person in politics and a lot of us related to him better because of it. JFK quickly became my favorite president. He wasn’t the greatest, but he wasn’t the worst either. I know close to everything there is to know about that administration and he’s definitely an inspiration.

Was there any person (family member, friend, mentor) who helped you get into politics?

My grandpa’s been in local politics for a while, and my aunt as well (though she’s staff.)

Politics is a nightly dinner discussion and my entire immediate family is normally aware of what’s going on in D.C. and our local cities. Familial views were never pushed on me and personal opinions and beliefs are always encouraged. I could tell them I changed parties and they’d respect me still.

What was your process for becoming politically informed (did you read a lot of books, etc.)?

I talked politics with my family and took as many politically related courses as possible in high school. Obviously since I’m majoring in Political Science, I’m still taking them. I did research outside of classes on my own via books, documentaries, and websites. I watch a lot of political news stations and check news sources frequently throughout the day.

Did any of your friends or family give you a hard time for taking an interest in politics?

Family? Not at all. They’ve always encouraged me to pursue what I’m passionate about, and since the family pastime is politics it’s pretty casual these days. I do have a good friend who tells me probably once a week, “Jordee, I don’t know why you want to get into politics.” Sometimes I think she’s a voice of reason, other times I ask her why she doesn’t want to get into politics.

Did you find it unusually difficult to educate yourself about political issues, principles, and the like?

Personally, no. Though I’m a registered Democrat, I never look for biases. I like to look at a variety of sources and outlets and form my own opinions. But I do see others struggle with political education.

I see a lot of people stick to one source and believe it word for word, and I think to really understand politics you need to see different sides and opinions of situations.

Only looking at a situation through one side deprives you of an open-mind and ability to find common ground with those different from you.

What did you dislike the most about it all?

There are days I wake up and my first thought is “I hate politics. Why am I doing this?” and I’m in a terrible mood the entire day. There are obviously negatives to the field, as there are with every other profession.

Bigots, pure ignorance, extreme biases are all fun things to deal with. I dislike that not everyone has as open of a mind as I do.

I wish more of both parties could cross party lines and work with someone of the opposite color on something. I hate the polarization and stubbornness, I hate the hatred that comes from politics.

If you could’ve have done something different what would it have been?

I love animals, so definitely something with them. I’m not good with science at all though, so that’d be a much more challenging course for me to take.

How do you go about discussing politics with people who don’t agree with you?

Those who don’t agree with me politically are my favorite people to discuss politics with. If I surrounded myself with only people who agreed with me, I’d never politically grow or be aware of other opinions, beliefs, and values.

Though I’m extremely interested in politics, I’m not one to bring them up or introduce myself as a liberal. I value bipartisanship over bigotry. If politics are brought up, I like to listen first and assess the situation. I’m not about attacking and immediately being defensive.

I like to talk calmly and say “Hey, I know we don’t agree on a lot but there’s always room to find common ground and talk things out.” I like to find out why people believe what they do, because I know they have their reasons. I never assume anything about someone’s politics because I know from personal experience that politics are personal and we all have reasons for leaning right or left.

If you want to read more interviews of passionate individuals like Jordan then you can sign up for more here. You can also follow Jordan Pellerito on Twitter.
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About John-Pierre Maeli

Keeping it simple and crystal clear, because anything else is useless. I'm here to not only inform you, but to also connect with you. That's what The Political Informer is all about. Feel free to follow me on either Twitter or Google+ Let's talk!

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